IStellate ganglion block (SGB) is used for the treatment of many medical conditions including complex regional pain syndrome and peripheral vascular disease. Historically, the anesthetic has been injected at the C6 or C7 vertebral level with the Chassignac’s tubercle, the cricoid cartilage, and the carotid artery serving as the anatomic landmarks to the procedure. Due to a high risk of side effects, for example, pneumothorax and vascular puncture, an image-guided approach is strongly suggested, even with the “safer” C6 approach.


  • What is a Stellate Ganglion Block?

    A stellate ganglion block is an injection of local anesthetic (numbing medicine) to block the sympathetic nerves located on either side of the voice box in the neck. An injection at these nerves may reduce symptoms such as pain, swelling, color, sweating changes in the upper extremity and may also improve mobility.

  • What is the Stellate Ganglion Block Treatment Like?

    The first step of the stellate ganglion block treatment is applying a local anesthetic to the treatment area. This helps to relieve any discomfort that may occur during the injection process. Once the treatment area is numbed, a needle will be carefully inserted into the stellate ganglion nerves, which will be accessed from the front of either side of the neck. After the needle is in place, the injection will be performed. This treatment is typically completed in less than an hour. After treatment, you may notice some minor swelling or bruising at the injection site, but these effects usually fade within a few days.

  • What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Stellate Ganglion Block?

    After your stellate ganglion block treatment, you will notice immediate pain relief due to the local anesthetic that is injected. This will wear off in a few hours, and pain may return briefly. The steroid medication will take effect within a few days, soothing inflammation and blocking nerve signals so that you can enjoy long-lasting pain relief. The results from your stellate ganglion block can last between several weeks and several months. The exact duration of these results will vary, so we will help you determine the kind of results that you can expect during your initial visit.

Meet our Doctors